You may think of chimney water leaks as an inconvenience, but these leaks can cause a lot of expensive damage not only to your chimney and fireplace, but also to your home. Chimney leaks can be so problematic that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has called water the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. What exactly are the main causes of chimney leaks, and how can you prevent them from ever occurring? To answer these questions, American Chimney & Masonry would like to tell you more about the causes and effects of chimney leaks.Chimney Leaks Causes and Effects - Portland OR - American Chimney and Masonry

You do not have a chimney cap installed on top of your chimney, or your existing cap is old and damaged.

Without a chimney cap, your chimney is a big hole on your roof that gives water from rain and snow an open invitation into your home. If your chimney cap has been damaged, water can penetrate through the cracks and cause quite a bit of damage to stainless steel chimney liners. The liners can become corroded and break apart, and this can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your home. We sell and install a wide variety of chimney caps that will keep water (as well as birds, wild animals, and debris) out of your chimney.

The flashing system around your chimney has been damaged.

The area where your chimney meets your roof tends to be a common place for chimney leaks due to the amount of water that accumulates there. When water gets into your chimney at this point, it can also cause damage to the wooden structures around your chimney inside your home. To protect this area, you need a customized flashing system that consists of sheets of metal that are layered and wrapped around your chimney on the roof. Even a well-constructed flashing system does not last forever, and the metal can suffer from rusting, which can cause the sheets to crack. American Chimney & Masonry has years of experience with repairing damaged flashing, and we can also construct a new flashing system for you if you do not have this protection. We take careful and precise measurements to cut perfectly sized sheets that will not warp or bend.

Water is leaking into your chimney through the bricks and mortar.

Masonry materials like bricks and mortar are porous and absorb water very easily. This type of chimney leak can create a lot of structural damage, especially in the winter. When the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water trapped inside the bricks and mortar of your chimney freezes and expands. As this water thaws as the weather warms up, it causes the bricks and mortar to crack and break apart. If this damage is left unrepaired, it can get worse and even lead to the collapse of your chimney. To prevent the water penetration of the bricks and mortar, we offer waterproofing services. We will apply a 100% vapor permeable formula that will keep water out while still allowing vapors to exit. Waterproofing is an excellent investment to prolong the life of your chimney by preventing water leak damage.

Keep water from damaging your chimney. Contact us at American Chimney & Masonry to learn more about our chimney leak prevention and repair services.